civ·​i·​lized | \ ˈsi-və-ˌlīzd How to pronounce civilized (audio) \

Definition of civilized

: characteristic of a state of civilization civilized society especially : characterized by taste, refinement, or restraint

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Examples of civilized in a Sentence

A civilized society must respond to crime with fairness and justice. Stop yelling. We have to be more civilized about this. Try to act like a civilized human being! a civilized way to spend the evening
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Recent Examples on the Web Hosting civilized discourse to promote understanding is not an endorsement of compromise or complicity. Samantha Boardman, WSJ, "A Divided Nation: One Psychiatrist’s Advice on Lowering the Temperature," 15 Dec. 2020 Stephens, Huntsville, Cahawba, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery—begins in a rough semi-civilized Washington County village and ends at the old cotton town of Montgomery. Kelly Kazek |, al, "Independent book shop owners list their favorite books with Alabama ties," 7 Dec. 2020 This powerful and deeply civilized memoir recounts the massacre in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, on the morning of Jan. 7, 2015. New York Times, "Times Critics’ Top Books of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020 Beans, rice, oatmeal, flour, salt and yeast filled out our civilized supply. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Empty shelves at your grocery store? Be a real Alaskan. Go find some moss.," 21 Nov. 2020 As in The Mere Wife, Headley uses the skeleton of a medieval epic to tell a story about how the love of power corrupts even those human communities that seem most comfortable, most civilized. Irina Dumitrescu, The New York Review of Books, "Dudes Without Heirs," 17 Nov. 2020 Wrestling another woman in Aisle 5 over silver polish is much more civilized than wrestling over toilet paper. Leslie Anne Tarabella, al, "All sold out of Christmas?," 8 Dec. 2020 Egypt has long been the most important — some would argue the most civilized — country in the Arab world. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Trump and Dictators," 20 Oct. 2020 Lutfallah appealed first to the senators’ consciences, arguing that Syria was a civilized country capable of governing itself. Robert F. Worth, The New York Review of Books, "Syria’s Lost Chance," 22 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civilized.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of civilized

1611, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for civilized

Time Traveler

The first known use of civilized was in 1611

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Statistics for civilized

Last Updated

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Civilized.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce civilized (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of civilized

: marked by well-organized laws and rules about how people behave with each other
: polite, reasonable, and respectful
: pleasant and comfortable

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